In the three months before he fatally shot two Fairfax County, Va., police officers, Michael W. Kennedy and his parents tried many times to get him immediate psychiatric help, reports the Washington Post. Four times, he was sent home without getting help, and two mental health facilities told them not to bother coming in at all. On one occasion, Kennedy, 18, was voluntarily admitted to a mental health facility in Rockville. But after several hours, he left of his own accord and carjacked a vehicle to return home. “This young man was crying out for help,” said Richard F. MacDowell Jr., the attorney for Brian and Margaret Kennedy, Michael Kennedy’s parents.
Despite Kennedy’s problems, the parents did not remove their guns from their home because the weapons were kept in locked containers, MacDowell said. The Kennedys did not expect their son to break into them. “It’s astonishing,” MacDowell said, “how the system has deteriorated to the point that a clearly troubled individual, such as Michael Kennedy, cannot receive inpatient services. Our mental health system in Virginia is essentially broken when the severely ill cannot receive vital and necessary services.”